Road Wars (2015) Review
Written & Directed by Mark Atkins
Starring Chloe Farnworth, Cole Parker, John Freeman,
Kelcey Watson, LaNell Cooper, Jane Kim & Nikki Bohm
"When an amnesiac wakes up in a post apocalyptic world ravaged by a rabies type virus, he must band together with a small group of survivors". I've been on a serious post-apocalyptic kick lately mainly due to Mad Max:Fury Road hitting cinemas soon. Fans of the original trilogy like myself have only been waiting almost 30 years so lets hope it was worth the wait. In the mean time i've been trying to check out any post-apocalyptic films that I missed over the years and revisit a few of my favourites as well. A few months back I picked up the book World Gone Wild: A Survivors Guide To Post-Apocalyptic Movies by David J. Moore, a tome that is every bit as epic as the subgenre its' based on. It's well written and beautifully put together, hours of detailed reviews to read, tons of artwork - perfect for on top of the coffee table or next to crapper for some light enjoyable toilet reading, I highly recommend it. Now back to the movie i'm supposed to be talking about...
The film begins with a couple driving through the desert looking for fuel, having a heart to heart, talking about love and relationships (I don't remember this happening in The Road Warrior!?). She's hot with black make-up over her eyes looking like a cross between Charlise Theron in Fury Road and Olga Kurylenko in Centurion. He's a black guy wearing the exact same jacket Mel Gibson wears in The Mad Max films, I know this because I have the same jacket saved on my Amazon wishlist and I'm gonna order that bad boy just before the apocalypse happens for real. They stop off at a deserted gas station and get a nasty surprise, the movie gets off to a decent start. We're then introduced to our group of survivors with a funny Snickers joke, the guy on lookout accidentally shoots a guy he thought was a daywalker(?) so they bring him back to their camp and nurse him back to health. He wakes up soon afterwards but can't remember a thing, not even his own name. Later that night their camp gets overrun by 'the infected' so they escape and go on the run. We then learn what the actual fuck is going on and why everything turned to shit - basically some sort of super-rabies virus broke out and infected half the humans in the world, turning them into fast running 28 Days Later style zombies who crave human blood (wouldn't that make them vampires then?) but they're called 'Night-runners' since they only come out at night due to their high photosensitivity (ya i'd definitely call them vampires...). They also think that amnesia guy might be immune to the virus and the carrier of the cure (ya this all sounds very familiar) for one reason or another. So Thorne the amnesia guy and the band of merry survivors make their way through the wasteland searching for fuel, ammo and a cure while they fight off 'hostiles' and
night-runners who can also come out during the day but are called daywalkers (huh?). Thorne soon remembers why he has amnesia, how he got to where he is and who he should really trust out in the wasteland...
Those wacky bastards at The Ass-ylum have done it again - churned out another mockbuster (blatant rip-off of an actual blockbuster) and managed to get it out on the shelves just a few weeks before the actual movie they're ripping off even hits the cinema. The Asylum do get a lot of hate but they're only doing exactly what the Italians did in the 80s - think of any big action or horror movie in the 80s and you're bound to find an Italian rip-off of it, or in some cases like Mad Max or Escape From New Yorkthere are dozens! I'm not sure how things are run over at The Asylum but it seems Mark Atkins is one of their main go-to-guys when it comes to making these mockbusters, fuck me has he made a shitload of them! - Snakes On A Train, AVH:Alien VS Hunter, 2012 Doomsday, The Terminators, Transmorphers:Fall Of Man, Princess Of Mars, Battle Of Los Angeles,
Alien Origin, Jack The Giant Killer, Android Cop... and those are just the more obvious ones. It's a shame that he'll be remembered for films like this because when he's not making crappy rip-offs he makes some really enjoyable films like Halloween Night (2006) and Sand Sharks. Most people who see the cover of Halloween Night will immediately pass it up thinking its a cash-in on Rob Zombie's Halloween remake which came out shortly after it, admittedly I did as well for a long time until a friend recommended it, I must say I was nicely surprised, for something released by The Asylum and found in most bargain bins its a fairly decent slasher flick. Sand Sharks is just a silly shark flick with bad cgi and Brooke Hogan's arse, but it's so much fun!
So is Road Wars anything other than another mockbuster cash-in from The Asylum? Not really but I have to admit it is pretty enjoyable. I am a huge fan of post-apocalyptic films though so I cant really see anyone who isn't a fan of them enjoying this as much as I did. It does have most of the main ingredients - flamethrowers, cool vehicles, cool weapons, cool outfits, one hot chick, a boobytrap anti-theft device on a car, psychotic gang leaders and a few zombie-vampire thingys thrown in. Fans of low-budget zombie films, fans of so-bad-they're good post-apocalyptic films (especially the Italian ones) and fans of The Asylum's tv show Z Nation should definitely enjoy Road Wars. It looked amazing, the acting was decent if cheesy at times but that suited this type of movie , and Chloe Farnworth is hot as hell. Talk about perfect timing though, the lead guy in this is even an English guy (an actual English guy, not another American with a terrible accent) and he does look a bit like Tom Hardy, but I'm sure that's just a coincidence....